Gabriel Noah (Gabi) Brahm

Director - Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom & Professor

Ph.D., Literature and Cultural Studies (emphasis in Political Theory), University of California at Santa Cruz

M.A., Literature (notation in American Studies), University of California at Santa Cruz

B.A., English, UCLA

Diploma in Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Certificate in Teaching Writing, San Francisco State University

Mr. Gabriel Noah Brahm (called Gabi since childhood by those who know him, typical of certain close-knit diasporic communities) grew up attending the Temple Emanu-El Religious Day School, in Haverhill, Massachusetts; and was subsequently educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he read British literature and classics, while serving as a writing tutor for the UCLA Bruins athletics program.  

Next, he pursued a series of credentials in the Humanities and Social Sciences: enrolling first with the MA program in Composition and Rhetoric at San Francisco State University, where his contemporaries included the ethicist and Jewish Studies scholar, Adam Newton; then, going on to do a variety of postgraduate work in Rhetoric, Political Science, and American Studies, charting a trans-disciplinary path of research and pedagogical training that included serving as Head TA for the liberal political theorist, J. Peter Euben; while simultaneously earning a Ph.D. from the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz; supplemented, eventually, by a degree in Israel Studies from Brandeis University, under the guidance of S. Ilan Troen.  

After a formative stint of several years, spent offering small upper-division seminars, medium-sized lecture courses, and large lower-division classes (including popular lectures routinely enrolling several hundreds) through the departments of Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies, as a Visiting Professor at UCSC; he joined Northern’s faculty in 2008, signing on with NMU to specialize in literary theory, composition and rhetoric, and film studies. 

Moreover, Brahm’s wide-ranging interests have led him in quest of viewpoint diversity and so compelled him to stand in support of free speech on the ground, literally, from places like Istanbul; Erbil; Cairo; and East Jerusalem; to Berkeley, California. Fittingly, he currently serves as both Director of Northern Michigan’s Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom (CAIF), which he helped found, and Senior Research Fellow at University of Haifa’s Herzl Institute for the Study of Zionism.

Much in demand for his blend of traditional canonical learning and innovative hermeneutic strategies, he has been appointed Visiting Professor in the School of Philosophy and Religions at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Visiting Researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS); Visiting Lecturer at Yad Vashem (World Holocaust Remembrance Center); Visiting Professor in the Program in Cultures, Civilizations, and Ideas at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey; Visiting Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia; Visiting Professor of Modern American Poetry in the Department of Translation Studies at Shandong University in Weihai, China; Wiesel-King Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), St. John’s College, Oxford; Scholar in Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies; Advisory Editor at Fathom: For a Deeper View of Israel and the Region; and founding Associate Editor of the first online journal of Cultural Studies, Politics and Culture: An International Review of Books

Holder of numerous honors and prizes, he is the recipient of a Peter White Scholar Award; an Israel Institute Faculty Development Grant; a Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) Research Fellowship; and several Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) Research Grants, among other laurels.

“Professor Gabi” (as students lovingly refer to him) divides his time between Midwest and Mideast, maintaining residences in Marquette and Tel Aviv.  

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Philosophical Anthropology and Literary Theory
  • Israel Studies and Security Studies
  • Film Theory and Psychoanalysis 
  • Digital Composition and Rhetoric
  • World Literature and Great Books of Western Civilization

Selected Publications:

“The New Blank Slate,” The American Mind, August 31, 2021. On anti-intellectualism in higher education.

“Canceling Israel?,” Telos, Number 195, Summer 2021. On antisemitism and anti-Zionism in higher education.

“Intersectionality,” Israel Studies, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2019. On contemporary radical feminism’s obsession with the Jewish state.

“Slouching Toward the City that Never Stops,” in Doron Ben-Atar and Andrew Pessin (eds.), Campus Antisemitisms Assault on Free Speech and the University, Indiana UP, 2018. An ethnography of social justice tourism in the Holy Land.

“Killing the Messenger: Mark Lilla’s ‘End of Identity Liberalism’ and its Critics,” Society, Volume 54, Issue 4, 2017. The consequences of identity politics for America’s 2020 presidential elections.

“תנועת החרם על ישראל כסימפטום,” Assaf Orion and Shahar Eilam (eds.), Strategic Assessment of the Threat Posed by BDS and Delegitimization to Israel and the Jewish Diaspora (Tel Aviv: Institute for National Security Studies, 2017). How boycotts of Israel symptomatize deeper trends that may pose a threat to Israeli and American national security.

“Shakespeare’s Fault or Yours?,” Perspectives on Political Science, Volume 44, Issue 4, 2015. How exoteric readings of esoteric writers miss the point.

The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel (coedited with Cary Nelson), Wayne State UP, 2014.

The Jester and the Sages: Mark Twain in Conversation with Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx (coauthored with Forrest G. Robinson), UP of Missouri, 2012.

“Holocaust Envy: The Libidinal Economy of the New Antisemitism,” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, Vol. 3, Issue 2, 2012.

“Reading City of Quartz in Ankara: Two Years of Magical Thinking in Orhan Pamuk’s Middle East,” Rethinking History, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2007.

“Understanding Noam Chomsky: A Reconsideration,” Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol. 23, No. 5, 2006.

Prosthetic Territories: Politics and Hypertechnologies (coedited with Mark Driscoll), Westview Press, 1995. The first anthology of cyborg studies.

Dr. Gabriel Brahm